Immunity a Possibility For Clinton Staffer Who Maintained Private Email Server in Exchange For Testimony

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Sep 09, 2015 9:07 AM
Immunity a Possibility For Clinton Staffer Who Maintained Private Email Server in Exchange For Testimony

In case you missed it last week, it was revealed Hillary Clinton paid State Department and Clinton Senate Leadership PAC staffer Brian Pagliano to set up and maintain her private email account and server. When this revelation was discovered, Pagliano was asked to testify in front of Congress and to speak with the FBI about his role. He plead the Fifth (it's the popular thing to do these days) and has no plans at this point to talk to anyone about Clinton's server. Some background on Pagliano

According to federal campaign finance records, you “[were] paid by Clinton’s Senate leadership PAC through April of 2009,” where you served as the campaign’s IT director.[1] According to news reports, the following month, you began working for the State Department as an IT Specialist and continued to act as the lead specialist responsible for Secretary Clinton’s private server in New York.[2] From 2010-2012, you were compensated at the GS-15 level by the Department.[3] You reportedly worked for the Department as an IT Specialist and were tasked with overseeing the maintenance and operability of Secretary Clinton’s non-government server. Her use of that server substantially hindered the ability of State Department personnel to fully comply with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, which has generated substantial related litigation with FOIA requestors. In addition, according to the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community, Secretary Clinton’s email records included “information classified up to ‘TOP SECRET//SI//TK//NOFORN.’”

But Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley, along with Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson, are pursuing other avenues to get the information they need from Pagliano given his unique positioning with Clinton and the type of information (including top secret classified information) he would have been required to handle as the maintenance man for her server. They've put immunity on the table as an option in exchange for his testimony. 

"Your right under the Fifth Amendment to avoid being compelled to provide testimony that might be used to prosecute you is a fundamental individual right. The Committees will certainly respect and defer to any legitimate assertion of an individual’s constitutional rights," Grassley and Johnson wrote in a letter to Pagliano and his attorneys later Tuesday. "With that being said, the Committees also need the unique information you likely have in order to exercise their oversight functions under the Constitution, which are unrelated to any potential prosecution or criminal inquiry. Thus, the Committees have the authority to obtain an immunity order, to acquire the information they need, while also protecting your right against self-incrimination."

"On behalf of the Committees, we write to request that you make yourself available to provide information. Given the issues raised by your attorney and in order for the Committees to assess whether it would be appropriate for either Committee to consider obtaining an immunity order in these circumstances, we ask that your attorneys meet with the Committees’ staff to explore how to obtain the unique information you possess while respecting your constitutional rights, such as the possibility of a proffer session so that we can better understand what your testimony would be without any waiver of your rights," the letter continues. 

Pagliano must respond to the request by Thursday September 10. Will he remain loyal to Clinton? Or cooperate in exchange for immunity?